Lawyer says Government is wrong
NUKU’ALOFA – May 8: 2.22pm (Nuku’alofa Times/Pacnews): Government must not ignore employment contracts in their attempts to do what they want, a top local lawyer has said.
Clive Edwards, a former Cabinet Minister in the Tongan Government, and lawyer for the General Manager of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC) says the government cannot ignore employment contracts.
Mr Edwards is defending Ms Nanise Fifita, who was reappointed by the TBC Board last month.
But that appointment has not gone down well with Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, who now wants her removed.
The government has written to Ms Fifita to say her contract is null and void.
Last week, PM Pohiva forced the resignation of TBC Board Chairman Tapu Panuve.
Hon Pohiva has attacked TBC in the last 12 months with different accusations, now stating that the company does not support him and his government enough.
But Mr Edwards said his client had a right of renewal clause in her contract, adding that Government has nort handled the case properly.
Last week, another former TBC chair refused a settlement from the government related to her removal from the board in 2015 which was later quashed by the Supreme Court.
Lady Eseta Fusitu’a was also removed by Government two years ago – resulting in a legal battle with Pohiva’s government.
“The way it has been handled it is intimidation and it’s deliberately set out a message that is quite clear. If you don’t do what we tell and you publish the news that we don’t want you to publish, we are going to sack you,” Mr Edwards said.
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